Unlocked: Now Available!

I’m happy to announce that “Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden’s Syndrome” is now available in electronic form, in English, pretty much everywhere in the world, or at least everywhere that Tor has been able to get it into ebook retail systems. It’s a novella, set in the world of my upcoming novel Lock In, and it tells the story of the disease — Haden’s syndrome — which plays a significant role in that novel. The story is told from the mouths of those afflicted with the disease, the doctor and scientists who fought it, the lawyers and politicians who navigated its political consequences, and others who saw the world shaped by the consequences of this worldwide epidemic.

You won’t have to read “Unlocked” to follow what happens in Lock In (not in the least because Lock In was written first, before I had a thought to write the novella), nor does “Unlocked” contain spoilers for Lock In. They are complementary documents of a near future. If you read them both, you’ll have a wider view of the world I created. But both stand on their own.

I’ve mentioned before why I decided to write “Unlocked” (and why I decided to write it as an oral history), so I won’t cover that again now. But I will say that I’m really pleased with how “Unlocked” turned out. It’s a type of storytelling I’ve always wanted to do. I think you’re going to like the results.

The eBook of the novella is $1.99, and it also includes the first chapter of Lock In — an exclusive sneak that, for now at least, you can’t get anywhere else. So: Bonus!

Some links for US readers:

Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Google Play|iBookstore

For everyone else, check your local eBook retailers. I did a spot check of various Amazon sites across the globe and it was in all of them that I checked.

For those interested in a hardcover version, remember that Subterranean Press will have a signed, limited edition available later in the year (which you can preorder now). I can’t tell you who the cover artist for the hardcover version is yet, but I can tell you that I am awesomely excited about it. For audiophiles, Audible also has plans for a version of “Unlocked” — more details on that later.

Enjoy, and happy reading!

59 thoughts on “Unlocked: Now Available!

  1. Technical notes: The cover is by Richie Pope. The novella was edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden. Haden’s syndrome is not named for the editor.

  2. I am around halfway through it so far this morning. Very nicely done so far. Now I have this whole remaining employed thing to handle, so I will finish it at lunch time.

  3. The order confirmation from Amazon is time-stamped at 12:09AM, so they did a good job downloading the preorders. Looking forward to reading it.

  4. Must. Read.

    So BORED without new Scalzi and Sanderson books to read…

    Must buy. Must READ!!!!!

    Alright, time to go get on Amazon with my shiny new debit card…

  5. ” Haden’s syndrome is not named for the editor.”
    So what sort of syndrome would be named for him?

  6. Fictional oral history: that sounds like it ought to be a genre, but I can’t think of anything except World War Z, and at least on a quick check neither can Google. Can anybody fill me in on other examples?

  7. This makes me curious. How many times has an author written a complimentary story to an existing one. Not a sequel or a prequel but a story set in the same world from a different POV with a different theme? I’m coming up blank on this at the moment. It’s a great idea.

  8. Sometimes I wish you weren’t such a good storyteller. I’ve only just finished the first section, and I’m pretty sure that I have the disease. It’s chilling.

  9. Suspension of disbelief in science fiction is important. When I saw what team was supposed to be in the superbowl, it was no longer possible.

  10. @Andrew Burday: not quite a pure example but “Warday” by Whitley Streiber and James Kunetka features a couple of journalists traveling the country interviewing survivors of a nuclear holocaust.

  11. @Andrew Burday: War of the Worlds comes close, especially some of the radio dramatizations.

    @Frankly: I remember reading a pair of novels called The Last Colony and Zoe’s Tale that seem to fit the bill. Also Ender’s Game/Ender’s Shadow.

  12. I read it. Again, you demonstrate your mastery of the printed word. I also was reminded of Warday and one or two others of that type. But there was also the story these people are telling. That didn’t really remind me of anything I have read in my 60 years of SF reading.

    Thank you. I eagerly await the book.

  13. wiredog said “So what sort of syndrome would be named for [Hayden]?”
    Obsessive star watching would be Hayden Planeteriumitis while worshiping a young blonde would Panettiereanism.
    -
    @Frankly-Christopher Moore’s ‘A Dirty Job’ covers the time period and city for at least IIRC* two of his vampire books, of which two (at least) cover the same vampire events but are about different /sets/ of characters. – ‘Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story,’ ‘You Suck: A Love Story,’ ‘Bite Me: A Love Story.’
    -
    *Seems like it is time for me to re reread those.

  14. Read it. Liked it a lot. Came here to talk about the world building and how it fits into the larger network of Scalzi Thematic Concerns (c). Then it occurred to me that would probably be super boring for the author of the blog.

  15. Bought it and downloaded it to my Nook. :) I will probably pick up a physical copy when they become available as well, since I prefer those. Thanks for all of your hard work which leads to such entertaining stories, sir.

  16. That was much more than an appetizer — and making the backstory a separate piece will allow your readers to jump in the deep end straight off when the book comes out later. I love the story.

  17. I liked it. Going into detail about why I liked it would undoubtedly lead to spoilers, so all I’ll add is that I can’t wait for August.

  18. @Andrew Hackard – have not read the first ones and had forgotten about Ender, thanks

    @Shawn – I’ll admit I am unfamiliar with his work. I’ll look him up, thanks

    *SIGH* the stack of books I want to read just keeps getting larger – If I don’t die till I finish it I am immortal!

  19. Read it last night in the wee hours. I couldn’t sleep due to an oncoming headache, cough & chills. Then I couldn’t sleep because… well you know. Good read despite the lousy personal context.

  20. Reading it now. Cant help but feel a little shiver as my facebook page is full of people complaining about having a spring flu with respiratory symptoms, and GI upset.

  21. John, I *loved* Unlocked, but I also spotted a couple of errors (in the e-version). Want me to send them to you privately? I’d rather not do it publicly unless that’s okay with you.

  22. Purchased it on Amazon! I do love the one-click purchasing on e-books, it is the only time I allow myself to use that feature.

    Looking forward to reading this after I finish the other Scalzi book I’m reading!

  23. Oh Google Play, you’re such a tease! Having pre-ordered the signed hardback, I thought I’d check out the “free sample” on Google Play. Here’s what it consists of: Cover, blank page inside cover, title page, dedication, “copyright infringement is illegal”, table of contents, and “you’ve just finished your free sample”.

  24. Read it last night. Very good! The overall direction that they end up taking with the survivors wasn’t quite what I expected, which made me very happy. The vast majority of media is predictable and this? Not so much.

    I’m not sure whether to thank you for the first chapter or curse you as a tease though! I really want that book NOW. RIGHT THIS MINUTE MISTER! Quite enjoyable chapter though – jumps right in and gets moving. Now, when’s the movie/tv movie/mini-series coming out?

  25. Just finished it this morning. Really enjoyed it. Will there be a Locked In book tour?

  26. Also, is it okay to discuss spoilers in this thread? You made a a few points in Unlocked that made me think.

  27. Ari B:

    Lock In book tour. Yes. We’re nailing down dates now.

    Spoilers: Not in this thread, please. I may put up a spoiler thread next week, however.

  28. I read it immediately upon delivery to my Kindle account; despite a huge “virus-sweeps-around-the-world” hangover after just finishing the slog through King’s “The Stand” days before.

    I enjoyed the “oral” history technique quite a bit. I noticed less snark from the characters in the novella, but it seemed to return in the sample from “Lock In.” Deliberate?

    You got me. “Lock In” has been pre-ordered.

    -Matt

  29. Spoiler thread? Yes, please. I don’t know anyone IRL who has read it and I am dying to talk about it.

  30. Just bought it from Kobo. It’s now listed as part of my library, but the Kobo website does not provide a download link. I hope it will appear soon.

  31. There’s still no download link on the website, but it has appeared on the Kobo itself, ready to be read, without me putting it there. But there’s still no way to get it onto my computer.

  32. What a fun read! What really thrilled me was reading Unlocked and having no clue what tone Lock In would have. Then I have the opportunity to read chapter 1 and, damn, how cool is that book going to be?

    Big kudos for almost getting me to cry on an airplane while reading a oral history of a fictional disease featured in a book I haven’t even read yet!

  33. “There’s still no download link on the website, but it has appeared on the Kobo itself, ready to be read, without me putting it there. But there’s still no way to get it onto my computer.”

    I had the same problem, and since I don’t have a Kobo ereader, I couldn’t get the story at all (I contacted Kobo help and they reverted the sale). Sorry John – I tried to buy it, and if I find a place that’s really selling it, I’ll actually buy it.

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